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To expect people to respect my wish for privacy

(20 Posts)
Bestthingever Tue 12-Jul-16 16:56:52

I'm starting to wonder if I'm unreasonable about asking people not to discuss things personal to me. For example, a couple of years ago we had a bit of a stressful year with problems with my dh's health (was diagnosed with early stage bowel cancer) and some trouble ds1 was having at school. I was quite stressed and when I discussed them with my parents, I specifically asked them not to tell my db and sil. I didn't want the dcs to accidentally find out from them about their df from their uncle and I didn't want my opinionated db to chip in about ds as I was feeling upset. Well my dps told my db anyway. I was upset but let it go. Dh thought I was asking too much of them.
Recently my dm has been very ill and we found out last week that she has cancer. We are still waiting to hear of it has spread etc. I am very stressed about this as she has been as heavy smoker most of her life and it has always been my worst fear. I haven't even told my close friends who get on great with my mum because I can't bear to say it aloud. I told my dh not to tell his parents because they are generally very opinionated and nosey and I'm just not ready to talk about it. He told them because they 'have a right to know' hmm. Next day I had them on the phone telling me everything would be fine, they've known people with worse diagnoses who got better etc etc. Perhaps some people would think it was nice of them to call but I specifically said to dh I wasn't ready to talk to anyone and he ignored that? Am I being difficult and unreasonable? I'm starting to think I'm being weird and secretive.

Pimmmms Tue 12-Jul-16 17:21:22

YABU to tell DH to not tell his parents, but HIBU to not tell them that you are not ready to talk about it yet. Knowing about it and insisting on talking to you about it are 2 entirely separate things.

Bestthingever Tue 12-Jul-16 17:26:05

The thing is he should know they would be unable to resist calling me. That's what they are like. I had an elective c section with ds2. I asked him to tell them not to come to the hospital until I'd had a chance to recover. We got to the hospital in the morning and fil was ALREADY there, waiting in the reception.

MatildaTheCat Tue 12-Jul-16 17:29:00

YANBU. This sort of news takes some time to process and only those who need to know have a 'right' and even then not necessarily.

I also agree that it is really upsetting for someone to say it will all be fine when they have no idea. Sending best wishes for a horrible time and hoping the news is not as bad as you fear. flowers

allnewredfairy Tue 12-Jul-16 17:32:37

YANBU. I'd be very unhappy in your shoes and would certainly think twice before confiding in him in the future. Blabbermouth!

Bestthingever Tue 12-Jul-16 17:35:22

Thanks. Today sil (who has never even met my parents) and who despises me (really) sent me a message on Whatsapp saying she wishes my dm 'a speedy recovery'. I don't know why she has been told and as we expect her to actually have a protracted recovery I don't find that helpful. (She's been fitted with a colostomy bag) Perhaps that's being over sensitive though.

TopiaryBun Tue 12-Jul-16 17:40:19

Yanbu in the least. Some people have absolutely no sense of boundaries. When I went to visit my parents in my home country with my newborn after a very complex CS, complete strangers I had never met hailed me on the street with a detailed account of precise gynaecological details, exact blood loss etc - all because my mother thinks it 'looks funny and snobby' not to answer nosy people's questions.

The same mother I didn't tell I was pregnant for the first time at 40 with her only grandchild until I was past my 20 week scan, because DS had some worrying markers she would have told the entire world about and worried vocally about in endless phone calls.

This means I no longer tell her anything at all.

Bloopbleep Tue 12-Jul-16 17:44:43

YANBU - I hope your mother's ok btw and your oh too!

My mother can't keep a secret. I had a very personal and much awaited /fought for Dx a few years ago that I didn't want others to know about so she told everyone and anyone who's listen. It was more about her than me. It always is. I now don't tell anyone anything and use online forums to get things off my chest.

I hope it all works ok.

StaleOreo Tue 12-Jul-16 17:47:07


Lymmmummy Tue 12-Jul-16 17:49:40

Firstly sorry about your mum

I don't think your husband should have told t his parents until you have more information and when he knew you were ready to share the information. Very poor behaviour in my opinion they did not really have any right to be informed at all until you had given the green light

expatinscotland Tue 12-Jul-16 18:00:58

Sorry, but I think YABU. If you want to keep it private, keep it to yourself or discuss it with someone entirely unattached to the situation. All this 'don't tell X or Y' is ridiculous. As is not being honest with your children. If you were my relative I'd ask you to offload somewhere else. You tell people very emotionally charged things and then give them conditions on where they can deal with the emotional fallout from them. I don't think that's fair, tbh.

aginghippy Tue 12-Jul-16 18:03:09

YANBU I would be the same. Your dh should be supporting you, listening to you and respecting your wishes at such a difficult time.

Also nobody has a 'right to know' about another person's health problems.

Sorry about your mum flowers

limitedperiodonly Tue 12-Jul-16 18:23:16

YANBU. You do have to pick the people that you tell sensitive news to, but I can't see how or why you should have kept it from your husband. He is your husband. The deal in marriage or in a loyal unmarried partnership, is that you respect your partner's wishes unless they are doing something illegal or harmful. You were not.

I'd be so angry that he said his parents had a right to know. Of course they didn't.

What are you going to say to him? IME he will carry on doing this. It is a very hard problem to solve and you have my sympathies for this and also for your mum.

Bestthingever Tue 12-Jul-16 18:31:04

I'm not going to say anything to him. I really don't have the energy for any hassle at the moment. I did show him the message on Whatsapp from his sil. It would take too long to repeat the whole message here but it was so cold and insincere it really bothered me. He totally agreed and said his db had probably made her send it. He said leave it as we have more important things to worry about.
Expat I can hardly keep it from my dh can I?? I haven't told anyone else.

junebirthdaygirl Tue 12-Jul-16 18:35:43

YANBU. I come from a big Irish family. It always amazes me how l can tell my dm something and she never tells the others. Even when l don't ask her. She obviously tells them bits of news but none of the big stuff. All my siblings have found the same. Its only basic decency. And you're dh didn't need to tell his parents. I say all this as someone who really doesn't care if people know stuff or not but it's nice to have people in your life who can keep it to themselves for a while.

AyeAmarok Tue 12-Jul-16 18:41:00

YANBU. Of course you can tell your husband things and ask him not to tell his parents.

Whoever upthread said that is hmm Her husband isn't 5 FFS.

Deal with it later OP. You have enough on your plate at the moment.

Sorry to hear about your mum flowers

mylovegoesdown Tue 12-Jul-16 18:43:39

If my partners Mum was diagnosed with cancer I'd want to talk to my Mum about it because what upsets/worries my partner does the same to me. My partners distress, worry and fear would be painful for me to see, I'd feel helpless, it will affect my relationship and my day to day life and I'd want some support from my family in helping me in supporting my DP. I might also really like my MIL and be upset and distressed in my own right but wanting to understandably not be too upset or worried in front of my DP because it's far worse for them because it's their Mum and I need to support them. I might have lots of fear and concerns but not want to discuss it with my DP because it's their Mum and I don't want to worry them more or think they need to worry about how I'm feeling. I'd need an outlet for that.

Having seen friends whose parents have been unwell or sadly died, it's been incredibly hard on their partner too but they are often never asked how they are or how they're coping because it's not their stress/loss and all the focus is understandably on the partner.

I don't think it's necessarily about disrespecting or disregarding your feelings. My Mum had a serious health problem a while ago and told me not to tell my brother or her siblings. I felt horribly isolated and felt it was unfair of her to put me in the position where I couldn't seek support from other people I am close to or even think out loud or speculate on best/worst outcomes. Once she got the all clear I asked her to never put me in that situation again.

I hope your Mum gets the best possible news at her next appointment and I'm so sorry she is so unwell.

Janey50 Tue 12-Jul-16 18:47:21

flowers for you and your mum OP. I don't think you are BU. I suffer from several health problems,and I am disabled,and although I have no problem with family and close friends knowing about these things,it gets my back up when I get vague acquaintances or even total strangers,quizzing me about my ailments. 'Oohh what have you done to yourself?' they cheerily ask when they see me using a walking stick. Er,nothing. It's a chronic ailment I have,not that it's any of YOUR business,I feel like saying. Worse still is when they start offering me advice on how to 'cure' myself. Do they not think that after 22 years of this,that I have not tried every treatment known to mankind?! So my sympathies go out to you OP.

DonkeyHotay Tue 12-Jul-16 20:57:19


I was in the same situation 2 years ago and asked my husband not to say anything to his parents. He didn't and had he not respected my wishes it would have been a game changer for me. If the situation were reversed then I would put my husband's needs above any support I would need.

This situation brings the best and worst out in people. For every ahole that asked how much of her breast my mum had left (really), there was a timely play date or a drink and a gab.

Take care flowers

Bestthingever Tue 12-Jul-16 22:06:56

Thanks for all your good wishes. I was worried I was being weird. What upsets me as well is that dh often asks me not to tell his dos things and I respect that even if it's often for stupid reasons.

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